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Gustave Flaubert

Presenting: The Real Housewives of Classic Literature!

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Everyone loves The Real Housewives! OK, to be fair, not everyone is aware of how magical the Real Housewives can be on occasion. While a lot of people find them irritating, where else are you going to find crazy moments where weird rich women debase themselves like insane animals in a menagerie for we the people to marvel at? No matter what your opinion is on The Real Housewives franchise, it’s hard to deny that they’re a bonafide cultural phenomenon. Love them or hate them, their hilarious quips, wild cat fights and generally unblinking attitude towards affluence are here to stay. So, if we were to cast a new season of Real Housewives, populated by some of the most desperate…

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Elizabeth Berg imagines the life of George Sand in The Dream Lover

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It’s difficult not to look back on the past as a black-and-white photograph: staid, colorless, and more conservative than our own time. “Each generation thinks it invented sex: each generation is totally mistaken,” author Robert Heinlein once famously wrote—and of course, he’s right. It’s difficult to picture bygone eras getting down and dirty at all, let alone through our modern lens of sexuality. Which is why there’s something very titillating about reading a novel that imagines historical figures as real people. And it’s even more titillating when those figures led lives that would make Hugh Hefner blush. This is especially true for Elizabeth Berg’s upcoming new novel, The Dream Lover (Random House, 2015) which fictionalizes the life of 19th-century author…

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Need a date (or want to stay single)? Open a book.

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Literature is rife with romantic prospects, as well as those people your mother would tell you to avoid at all costs. When you’re sitting at home, staring at your bookshelf this Valentine’s Day, consider these fictional characters who would arguably make a better (or infinitely worse) date than that one you’re either preparing (or wishing) for. There’s someone here for everyone. Let’s start with the ones in the plus column.     Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice): Everyone’s (or at least most people’s) favorite eligible Austen man, Mr. Darcy is the one you want if you’re into hate-at-first-sight that eventually blossoms into love.         Count Dracula (Bram Stoker’s Dracula): A less obvious choice, but…

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